"Family Gathering" (2x71) is the seventy-first episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein spend a day in Nicodranas, reuniting families and causing several members to question their next steps...
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Previously on Critical Role
"So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein - after traversing the King’s Cage, losing their friend Yasha to the will of Obann, and narrowly escaping the danger of the Laughing Hand - you gathered yourselves, returned to Rosohna, informed the Bright Queen of what had transpired, and began to assess the best course of action going forward.
"You heard that the series of attacks that you seemed to have picked up via Scrying had seemingly gone on and been thwarted, thanks to the information that you provided, and a number of the assassination attempts by Scourgers were also thwarted, one of which was captured. You went ahead and attempted to make contact with them in the dungeon, and discovered it was not somebody you recognized.
"You returned to your house, figured out a bit of a plan where the next point of direction is to be, had a bit of a lore dump of Caduceus’s background and personal goals, and as you were taking a bit of time to relax and center yourselves at the Xhorhaus, the arrival of one Dairon (currently obfuscated in drow form) arrived, saw Jester upon the balcony, and then was notified of Beauregard being below. After which, she hopped down, approached Beauregard on the stoop of the Xhorhaus, and requested her attention to meet on the inside. And that is where we left off."
Beauregard tries to decide where she and Dairon should talk. She rules out the roof, because that's where Caduceus sleeps. Jester suggests the spa. Beau asks Dairon if this conversation is appropriate to have in a hot tub, to which Dairon gives a definitive no. Beau decides on her bedroom, and she and Jester lead Dairon upstairs, where they discuss the way forward for everyone involved. Beau shares what the Nein have experienced with the Laughing Hand and the Abyssal rifts. Dairon reveals that the remaining stolen beacon is somewhere in the Empire. She believes there are traitors within both the Dynasty and the Empire working together, perhaps to fuel the war. Dairon doubts that Empire thieves could have stolen the beacon, a member of the Dynasty, probably high ranking, is more likely. Dairon also admits that she has reexamined her prejudice against the drow and has found good among the Kryn. She feels that returning the beacon may be the best way to work toward ending the war, as the Kryn will never stop fighting for something so integral to their culture. She also mentions that the Nein could find the blond human involved with both the Angel of Irons and the Empire and bring him to justice, but leaves that mission for a later date.
Dairon requests an introduction to one or more of the contacts that the Mighty Nein have within the Dynasty and also one of the symbols of the Bright Queen's favor that they have. Beau is not willing to give her a symbol and questions whether the contacts they have will be of any use to Dairon. They reach a compromise where Dairon will disguise herself as a drow and be "employed" as a housekeeper for the Xhorhaus so she can at least have a base of operations to carry out her missions in Rosohna.
The next morning, there is a meeting between Dairon and the rest of the Mighty Nein where everything is hammered out. Beau explains Dairon's needs and the plans they have made to the group. Everyone is happy with the proposed course of action, particularly Caleb, and Beau is relieved all her friends like each other.
The Mighty Nein teleport to Nicodranas in order to reunite Nott and Yeza with their son, Luc. As the teleport circle is in the Tidepeak tower owned by Yussa Errenis, they have a conversation with him about recent events and he is able to bring them up to date with what's happening within the Empire, as well as confirming that the blue dragon they fought was in fact really dead, having been killed by Twiggy. Yussa mentions that Abyssal rifts were found in Zadash, but the Empire has been publicly blaming the Kryn for causing them. The Mighty Nein know this to be false, and Beau feels it further confirms a third party is at play. Yussa also informs them that Hupperdook is reportedly creating war machines for the Empire, possibly including small airships.
From there, they travel to see Marion Lavorre. They meet with Old Edith and Luc at the Lavish Chateau for an emotional reunion. Nott impresses Luc with a display of shooting and Jester hands Nugget over to Luc for company and for him to look after, keeping Nugget out of danger. Sprinkle, taking his place on Jester's shoulder, appears to have forgiven her for the traumas he's endured in his time with the Mighty Nein.
Jester asks if Beau would like to wear one of her old dresses in order to blend in better in Nicodranas, which Beau accepts despite her obvious distaste towards wearing a dress. Jester tells Beau she doesn't have to, but Beau decides to wear the dress for Jester anyway. The party walk down to spend the afternoon at the beach.
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The party heads off to the beach, although Nott is anxious about Luc getting near the dangerous water. She pulls Caleb aside and they talk about whether she should stay with her family. Nott confesses that she and Yeza have not had sex since their reunion. She loves both him and Luc, but she's a fake and she worries that, in this form, she'll be dead when Luc is 25. More importantly, she doesn't accept herself-- this is just not her, it's not her body. The reason she was initially interested in hanging out with Caleb was that she knew he had amazing magical abilities. Now, she loves him, but then, she was hoping he'd become powerful enough to kill her with fire and change her body in the same way as was done to her previously.
Matt suggests after an arcana check by Caleb that what she's asking for sounds like necromancy. Right now, Caleb doesn't know how it would be possible to change one body into another, but he could ask more learned mages or do more research-- or he could develop his own spell.
Caleb tells Nott that he doesn't want to burn her, but he thinks that in time, he could restore her. He doesn't know how long the road would be, and it's her choice whether to take the time she has now to be with her boy, or continue adventuring in hopes of an answer in the future.
Jester talks to her mother about how hard it is being in the world, and whether she should come home, but Marion doesn't think it's safe for her yet. Jester tells Marion about all her adventures and then asks about the package they asked to have forwarded from the Pillow Trove in Zadash. It has arrived, and it is from Calianna, with a gift for each of the Nein, and letters for Jester and for Caleb. Caleb gives Beau both Yasha and Mollymauk's gifts to hold onto, and reads his letter aloud to the group. Calianna tells him that the Nein are good people, despite what they may think, and she passes along some advice: "My friend, Magda, tells me every time I say something bad about myself, I am putting iron weights in my pockets. Sooner or later, you’ll drag yourself down and not be able to get up. Be kind to yourself, Mr. Caleb. I don’t want your pockets to get too heavy."
The next morning, Nott talks with Yeza about whether she should stay with them or continue adventuring with the Mighty Nein. Yeza encourages her to go fix the big problems in the world, saying that he and Luc will be waiting for her. She gives him 500 gold and tells him to keep spoiling Luc, and gives him her mask, saying she hopes that when she returns she won't need it anymore.
While drawing the teleportation circle to take them back to Rosohna, Caleb includes Luc in the circle, telling him his mother can come back to him in the blink of an eye. The party then teleports back to Rosohna, but as they go Fjord hears Uk'otoa's voice saying: "Return."
At the Xhorhaus, their supplies have arrived. They ask Essek to come over and introduce him to Dairon as their housesitter while they're gone and ask him to take them to the Kravaraad volcano in the Flotket Alps. His first attempt is a mishap and they all take 20 points of damage, but on the second try they arrive at a mountain-surrounded valley in the snowy north, looking at a craggy bare rock volcano with three lava vents flowing into a lake at its base.
- Caduceus Clay
- Jester Lavorre
Yasha Nydoorin(absent, mentioned)
- Caleb Widogast
- Luc Brenatto
- Yeza Brenatto
- Old Edith
- Yussa Errenis
- Marion Lavorre
- Essek Thelyss
|Acquired||1||Knotted bracelet||Calianna||Nott||From Calianna's gift package|
|Acquired||1||Wooden wand||Calianna||Caleb||From Calianna's gift package. From a burned tree.|
|Acquired||1||Blue bow||Calianna||Beau||From Calianna's gift package. For Beau's bo.|
|Acquired||1||Lollipop charm on a chain||Calianna||Jester||From Calianna's gift package|
|Acquired||1||Potpourri||Calianna||Fjord||From Calianna's gift package. To help combat his cat allergy.|
|Acquired||1||Dragon tooth on a chain||Calianna||Beau||From Calianna's gift package. Beau is holding for Yasha.|
|Acquired||1||Charm of the Platinum Dragon||Calianna||Beau||From Calianna's gift package. Intended for Mollymauk.|
- Nott: Maybe [Luc] would accept me. But I don’t know if I would. There’s still something that’s not right about this. This is not my body. It’s just not me. And people liking you is nice, and people accepting you is nice, but if you feel wrong inside your own skin, then you can’t be a good mother or a good wife, or a good anything, really.
- Nott: I have no doubt that you can do anything. But how long do you think that road is? Is it something that is hypothetical or real?
Caleb: In fact, I do not know. I do not know if we are going to be alive two weeks from now, and so it is a very personal choice for you to make, because maybe you would prefer to have twenty years with your boy, or struggle into the unknown for a while and see what it gets you. Maybe die sooner. I don’t know. All I can give you is my loyalty. And I have great loyalty for you. And I’d hate to see you go. But that’s selfish.
- Calianna's Letter: "My friend Magda tells me that every time I say something bad about myself, I am putting iron weights in my pockets. Sooner or later you’ll drag yourself down and not be able to get up. Be kind to yourself, Mr. Caleb. I don’t want your pockets to get too heavy."
- Dairon shared with Beauregard what intelligence she has gathered thus far about the war between the Dwendalian Empire and the Xhorhas Empire:
- Dairon has continued her research into her theory that the Luxon beacons were the casus belli of the conflict, and that the Cerberus Assembly was directly involved in that act.
- The Dwendalian Empire attempted to retake the Ashguard Garrison. The attempt failed, at the loss of many Dwendalian lives (unbeknownst to Dairon or the Empire, due to intelligence provided to the Kryn by the Mighty Nein).
- Kryn assassins successfully infiltrated the Dwendalian Empire. During the Empire's failed attempt to retake the Ashguard Garrison, these assassins eliminated military-linked nobles in Bladegarden and Zadash.
- Hupperdook has ramped up its war production, with the mass production of smaller, experimental, and more combat-purposed airships.
- The gifts from Calianna included:
- A knotted bracelet for Nott
- A wand (arcane focus) for Caleb carved from a tree that had burned down in a forest fire, alleged to therefore be extra strong and especially good at channeling fire magic.
- A small charm of the Platinum Dragon for Mollymauk
- A bow for Beau's bo
- One of Calianna's dragon baby teeth on a leather thong for Yasha, a symbol of strength and ferocity
- A tiny lollipop on a chain necklace and one of Calianna's green hair ribbons for Jester
- Potpourri for Fjord to help with his cat allergy